Kansas City Townsend Law Firm

Traumatic amputations can significantly impact your life

On Behalf of | Jul 1, 2017 | Catastrophic Injury

If you think about all of the things you do on a daily basis, you may realize that you probably take your arms and legs for granted. Now, think about what changes you would have to make if something happens and you lose an arm, a leg, a hand or a foot. The chances are good that you will have to make considerable changes.

Many accidents, including motor vehicle accidents and those involving machinery, can lead to traumatic amputation. These amputations can lead to the loss of a limb, but this isn’t always the case. Here are some important points to remember about traumatic amputations.

Partial vs. complete

Not all amputations involve the affected body part being completely removed from the body. Incomplete or partial amputations are also possible. As odd as it might seem, a complete amputation sometimes has a better chance of recovery than an incomplete amputation because the damage to the tissues and structures might not be as bad in a complete amputation. Reattachment of severed body parts depends largely on how the severed part and the stump are cared for in the period immediately after the injury.

Emergency care is important

Amputation of a body part might lead to severe bleeding. One primary goal of emergency care after the accident is keeping bleeding controlled. Anyone who is working with a person who has an amputated body part must remember that saving the person’s life is much more important than saving the limb. Some people who suffer an amputation might go into shock. Steps should be taken to preserve the severed body part and protect the stump when possible.

Keeping the area free of debris is also necessary. Ideally, the severed body part should be kept cool, but it shouldn’t be placed directly on ice since direct contact with ice can damage sensitive tissues. The body part should be wrapped in a dampened cloth, placed in a sealed plastic bag, and put into ice water.

Recovery varies greatly

There isn’t ever a sure guarantee that a severed body part can be reattached. A surgeon will have to evaluate the injury to make a determination about this. The recovery of the person depends on the location and severity of the injury, whether the body part can be reattached, and the medical care that is available.

As you can imagine, traumatic amputations are costly injuries. Medical bills and missed wages can create a perfect storm that devastates your finances. If the accident that caused the amputation was another person’s fault, you will want to thoroughly investigate your options to seek compensation for this catastrophic injury.